ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Rob-Garris.jpg">r size-full wp-image-3343" title="Rob Garris" src="http://realcombatmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Rob-Garris.jpg" alt="" width="253" height="200" />Interview with Rob Garris- Part I
By Boxing Reporter and Writer ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/tag/chris-cercola/" target="_blank">Chris Cercola
rong>Boxing has been referred to as, ‘The Theater of the unexpected’, and if you ask Rob Garris, he’d most certainly agree with you… It’s not unusual to read about a talented amateur boxer who hails from New York set to turn pro, what is unusual however, is the fact that Rob Garris fought his last amateur fight back in 1985.Now, 27 years later, Garris is finally close to making his pro debut. To put that in proper perspective, 1985 was the year that President Reagan met Soviet leader Gorbachev for the first time, Microsoft put out the very first version of Windows, “We are the world” was the hottest song out, and 1985 is the year that the world heard Ivan Drago utter the words “I must break you” for the very first time. To put it even in further perspective, Garris was forced to sit and watch his closest friends from his amateur days, fight for and win championships in the pro ranks, those teammates include ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/tag/mike-tyson/" target="_blank">Mike Tyson, Hector Camacho, Iran Barkley, ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/tag/mark-breland/" target="_blank">Mark Breland, and Carl “The Truth” Williams. Now if that’s all Rob had to talk about, that would be interesting enough to give it a listen, but that’s not all Rob Garris has to talk about…There’s so much more… Garris has a story to tell, a story that would bring almost anybody else to their knees. he told it to ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/tag/chris-cercola/" target="_blank">Chris Cercola of Real CombatMedia on April 1, 2012.rong>
rong>I was born in Yonkers New York, August 24, 1965. My mother had me up for adoption. The story with that, my mother had an affair with her brother-in-law, and had me. I was a secret, so she gave me up, and I found out 38 years later what my story was, why I was given up. I found my whole family… After my brothers and sisters, I found out.rong>
rong>The home that I was in, it’s funny, I went to one home, I was a baby, I don’t remember, the family didn’t want me, because I was too dark, so they made a switch… See, my adopted mother and the other lady, they was best friends, but the other lady got me first, she was already fostering kids, so she the lady that she put her onto it, you know, she got her involved and that’s my adopted mother, she had got a light-skinned boy and I’m a little darker… Put it this way, let me break it down like this, Mrs. Kuykendall was already fostering kids right, she was best friends with Mrs. Garris. She introduced Mrs. Garris to the foster care scene, she said, “Get a couple kids since you a housewife and you ain’t doing nothing, get a couple kids and get some money”… So Mrs. Garris got a boy named James, and Mrs. Kuykendall got me. She already had some kids, so she made a deal with my mother, she said, “Give me James and I’ll give you Rob, because you’re brown skinned and Rob will match up in your family and James will match up in my family”… And you know, it’s funny when that trade happened, I just learned about that three years ago.rong>
rong>I was not a good kid in the beginning, when I learned my situation. I remember, a caseworker kept coming by the house named Mrs. Lightfoot, I remember that clearly, a black lady that wore a lot of makeup. She used to always take me and my brother in a station wagon to McDonald’s… McDonald’s used to be a big thing back in the 70s! It wasn’t like you could go every day back then! It was like, a treat back in the 70s! She would take me, my brother, and a few other kids to McDonald’s, and then she used to pull out a pad, and she used to ask questions like, “Where did you get that coat from’, “Is that a hand-me-down’,’ Is there any abuse in the house, do they hit?” These were questions that I didn’t understand… Why you asking me this stuff? But, you given me all this McDonald’s food, so I’m gonna tell you whatever you wanted to hear. “They wanted to know what was going on in the house because the state is giving them money to take care of you”, I didn’t understand that, this was weird… What is the state, you know, I’m a little kid, I’m like six, seven years old… “Who’s giving my parents money?”, and she broke it down to me, she said, “They’re not your real parents”… I said, “What you mean, they’re not my real parents?”… “Ya know how people make pretend your cops and robbers, but you’re not really a cop?”… Right there, I went berserk… I wasn’t the same, till the 10th grade. rong>
rong>When I got adopted by the Garris’s, I’m just like the biological kids… I’m a Garris… I got the same rights, same everything you know. I was from a middle-class neighborhood, but it was a foster care neighborhood, all the houses on the block were foster kids. Me and my younger brother were the only ones that got adopted, we had a good life. I have two older sisters, they was the biological kids. And me and my brother, we was foster kids you know, but they adopted us. We had a good, you know… I had a good life…rong>
rong>I became violent and frustrated. I just was angry because I didn’t know who I was, and nobody would give me no answers but I stopped it, and then they gave me a choice, they said, “You want to stay with this family, or you want to go somewhere else?”… ”You want to change your name?”… I was like, “Change my name, I don’t even know who I am.”… They was sending me to a psychiatrist… I was violent. Then, they put me into boxing, and I was fighting a lot. I started boxing at the age 13, and I fought all the way up to 19. rong>
rong>ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/tag/mike-tyson/" target="_blank">Mike Tyson was in the amateurs ,‘cause he was a year younger than me. Hector Camacho is two years older than me. Carl “The Truth” Williams is three years older than me. ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/tag/mark-breland/" target="_blank">Mark Breland is one year older than me, and we was all fighting around the same time. They all went to become champions and made money, I’ve never have the opportunity you know, my injury derailed me… I had a ripped artery in my nose from a head butt you know, had to stop fighting…rong>
rong>James always act funny towards me, all through high school, and junior high… His older sister brought it to my attention, so I went to go ask my sister, and they was like, “Yeah… You was switched as a baby”… You know, that was strange, because nobody never told me that I was switched ‘cause of my complexion. Seven years later, being with the same family, the Garris’s, the system was gonna take me, and move me somewhere else. My adopted father decided to keep me, so he adopted me at the age of seven and gave me his name, and the rest is history … rong>
rong>I had a good life but when I met my brother and sister on my mother’s side… I just met them two years ago, the blessing was, they told me that I was blessed, not being raised with them, even though they missed me and they never knew me, but the mental abuse that was going on in that house, I escaped it. Then, on my father’s side… He had seven boys by different women, and all of them was in and out of jail, on drugs, so I was blessed not to be raised with my father, or my mother, so you know, I ended up being in the Garris family, and I had a good… Ya know…both parents, Christian parents, and they brought me up right. They adopted me at seven, but they had me since 8 months, it just came out better. At birth, I went to the other family but I don’t really remember that ‘cause I was a baby, I was a Kuykendall. rong>
Stay tuned for Part II of the Interview with Rob Garris. Rob talks about finding out much of his biological parents and running into ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/tag/mike-tyson/" target="_blank">Mike Tyson, ref="http://realcombatmedia.com/tag/mark-breland/" target="_blank">Mark Breland, and Carl “The Truth” Williams. You don’t want to miss it!
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